The thinking man's nerd, Adam Brody so inhabited the charm of the neurotic Seth Cohen on "The O.C." (Fox, 2003-07), that many believed he was simply playing a version of himself, so completely did he nail the character. Fans of both sexes admired the actor's unmistakable cool vibe, but they also worshipped his knowledge of the underground music scene and comic books. The idea of "geek" suddenly became "chic," with Brody the crown prince of a new idea of teen spirit. So beloved was the actor, that when he and his "O.C." co-star Rachel Bilson broke up after a long-term courtship, there was a genuine feeling of sadness, as the adorable twosome had seemed so real and un-Hollywood like. After the show's inevitable cancellation in 2007, Brody seemed the best bet - from a cast that included Bilson, Mischa Barton and Benjamin McKenzie - to make the jump to movie stardom. He had shone in small parts in hit films like "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (2005) and "Thank You for Smoking" (2006), before landing a lead role in the female-centric romantic comedy, "In the Land of Women" (2007), more than holding his own onscreen opposite Meg Ryan. While a career as a successful leading man did not pan out, he remained a welcome presence as a character actor in both comedies and dramas.
Adam Jared Brody was born in San Diego, CA on Dec. 15, 1979. His father, Mark Brody, was a lawyer; his mother, Valerie Siefman, was a graphic artist. Brody grew up with younger twin brothers, Sean and Matt. His love for acting emerged in the sixth grade, after his mother suggested he join a community theater production of "Inherit the Wind," in which Brody played a paper boy. In addition to attending Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego, Brody was also an avid surfer, spending most of his downtime with friends at the beach. Though not an official Orange County resident, Brody had more than enough experience living beachside in Southern California throughout his adolescence.
During his senior year of high school, Brody worked at a local Blockbuster Video store, where he developed a passion for film and studied it by watching almost every movie at his disposal. After gaining an extensive knowledge of movies, Brody packed up and headed 120 miles north to Los Angeles to pursue acting. He worked several odd jobs - including a valet at the Beverly Hills Hotel - before landing his first acting job - a very small part with few lines on the soap opera, "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). Only a year after he moved to Los Angeles, Brody was cast as look-a-like Barry Williams, playing the latter's iconic role of Greg Brady, in the TV movie, "Growing Up Brady" (NBC, 2000). Critics noted that Brody's pretty-boy charm, lanky frame and slight awkwardness were reminiscent of Williams during his heyday.
On a bit of a roll after briefly paying his Hollywood dues, the working actor Brody felt confident enough to say goodbye to his day jobs, before popping up in small parts on several TV shows, including "Smallville" (CW, 2001-11), "Once and Again" (ABC, 1999-2002), and MTV's "Undressed" (1999-2002). He also played Dave Rygalski on the hit WB series "Gilmore Girls" (2000-07) for nine memorable episodes. Very minor appearances on the big screen also fueled Brody's acting career. He landed "blink-or-you'll-miss-him" cameos in the hit films "American Pie 2" (2001) and "The Ring" (2002), but scored larger roles in the lower-profile flicks, drama "Missing Brendan" (2003) and the skater-comedy, "Grind" (2003) - both opening to disappointing results. "Missing" was only released on DVD and "Grind" failed to attract audiences to the theaters. Still, it was a paycheck and Brody continued to shoulder on, looking for the one part that would put him over the top.
Television seemed like salvation. In 2003, Josh Schwartz created a dramatic series about rich, attractive, carefree teenagers called "The O.C." - a reference to the affluent Orange County region of Southern California. Four young actors from different backgrounds were picked to star on the Fox network's new millennium equivalent of their past hit series, "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990-2000) - Mischa Barton, Benjamin McKenzie, Rachel Bilson and Brody. Unfortunately, Brody almost lost the role of Seth Cohen, after deciding to improvise during his audition - a move which did not sit well with Schwartz, who reportedly told producers afterwards that he "never wanted to see that kid again." A month later, when Seth had still not been cast, producers called Brody back for another test. Despite Schwartz's initial problems with him, he later confessed that Brody reminded him of himself in many ways - a deal-making asset, since Seth was indeed based on the creator himself.
When the show premiered, "The O.C." was a massive hit, taking over the teen drama throne left by previous teen angst hits "90210" and a later incarnation, "Dawson's Creek" (WB, 1998-2003). The role won Brody a place in TV heartthrob history, with his harmless, geekily-handsome face making frequent appearances in magazines like Tiger Beat, BOP and Teen People - even being the first male to grace the cover of ELLEGirl magazine. His Seth also added a new term to the public lexicon - with his father being Jewish and his mother Christian, he embraced the 'mutual' holiday of "Chrismukkah." The show did more for Brody than make him an overnight star. He also met his first serious L.A. girlfriend on set, spending the majority of the show's run on the arms of his onscreen lover, Bilson. The perky couple dated for almost three years, until sadly breaking up in late 2006 and sharing custody of their two dogs - Penny Lane (a pit bull mix) and Thurmen Murmen (a poodle mix).
Considered a TV star, Brody used his downtime on the show to change perceptions, landing a pivotal big screen role in the action-packed feature, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" (2005), directed by Doug Liman - who coincidentally, was also an executive producer for "The O.C." Starring Hollywood's resident beautiful couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as married assassins, the film actually turned Brody into a movie star overnight. While he could have taken the blockbuster route, with studios offering him parts in guaranteed moneymakers post-"Smith," Brody instead scored indie "street cred" with his appearance in "Thank You for Smoking" (2005), a satirical comedy about the tobacco industry's spin doctors.
Both before and after "The O.C.," music had always played a big part in Brody's career and sideline interests. His favorite bands - Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and Ben Folds - in fact, were played on several episodes of "The O.C.," and Brody found time in his busy schedule to play music on the side as well, performing as drummer for the band Big Japan, along with actor Bret Harrison. He also wrote screenplays, music and even co-wrote a comic book miniseries titled Red Menace with friend Paul DeMeo and his girlfriend's father, Danny Bilson.
Life after "The O.C." - which was cancelled in 2007 due to dwindling ratings - proved just as successful for the actor. He landed the lead role in "In the Land of Women" (2007), written and directed by Jon Kasdan. Starring alongside veteran superstar Meg Ryan and talented ingénue Kristen Stewart, Brody charmingly played Carter Webb, a young writer who moves to Detroit, MI to take care of his ailing grandmother and to deal with his own recent breakup - only to become romantically involved with both Ryan and Stewart onscreen. Smaller roles in David Wain's spiritual comedy "The Ten" (2007) and Gregg Araki's pot-themed comedy "Smiley Face" (2007) cemented his indie cred. A continuing series of roles in smaller indie films followed, including Boaz Yakin's Holocaust-themed drama "Death In Love" (2008), Diablo Cody's horror comedy "Jennifer's Body" (2009), and the wedding-set comedy-drama "The Romantics" (2010). Brody next appeared on the big screen in the Kevin Smith action comedy bomb "Cop Out" (2010) and the horror reboot "Scream 4" (2011), followed by a supporting role in the quirky Steve Carell indie "Seeking A Friend for the End of the World" (2012).
Brody returned to television with a supporting role in "Burning Love" (E! 2012-14), a deadpan parody of reality dating shows starring Ken Marino, Michael Ian Black and June Diane Raphael. After appearing as '70s porn star Harry Reems in the biopic "Lovelace" (1972), Brody took on a rare film lead in the low-budget indie "Some Girls" (2012), based on a Neil LaBute play. Supporting roles in the romantic comedies "Baggage Claim" (2013) and "Think Like A Man Too" (2014) bracketed another leading role in "Life Partners" (2014), a comedy about the close friendship of a gay and straight woman. Brody joined the cast of the cable comedy "The League" (FX 2009-15) in 2014, while also filming a pilot for Amazon, "The Cosmopolitans," written and directed by Whit Stillman.
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Impersonated classic sitcom character Greg Brady on an episode of "The Amanda Show" (Nickelodeon)
Landed the lead in the NBC movie-of-the-week "Growing Up Brady" as actor Barry Williams
Cast as the lead on the MTV cult series "Now What?"
Landed recurring role on the hit family drama "Gilmore Girls" (The WB)
Made feature debut as a goal-oriented workaholic in the skateboarding comedy "Grind"
Breakthrough starring role as Seth Cohen, the son of Peter Gallagher's character on the Fox teen drama series "The O.C."
Cast opposite Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith"
Co-starred in Jason Reitman's satirical comedy "Thank You for Smoking"
Played a successful writer who returns to his hometown to care for his ailing grandmother (Olympia Dukakis) in Jonathan Kasdan's directorial debut "In the Land of Women"
Cast in Diablo Cody's horror film "Jennifer's Body" opposite Megan Fox
Co-starred in the ensemble romantic comedy "The Romantics"
Joined the cast of Wes Craven's "Scream 4"
Co-starred with Greta Gerwig in the comedy "Damsels in Distress"
Cast opposite Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World"